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Dr Stephen Burt

The mystery of mastery

Theme: Practice
Area: Coaching
Type: Workshop
Style: Mainly Lecture

Session on Wednesday, Mar 01, 17:00
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Stephen Burt is a coach, facilitator, writer and speaker. He is fascinated by the chemistry of individual and team effectiveness at work. He gets particular satisfaction from helping people make the transition to leadership and working with them to create and sustain a powerful leadership practice. He was once a senior civil servant, working at the heart of Government in Whitehall. Despite that, he remains deeply curious about creativity and what we, as coaches, can learn from creative disciplines such as music and art.

He has a strong commitment to reflective practice and frequently shares his own attempts at sense-making via the pages of Coaching at Work and other journals, and through his blog.

When not coaching, he does interesting things to jazz standards on the guitar and tries to channel his inner Federer on the tennis court.


When you see a top coach at work, what are you noticing that tells you they are at the top of their game?

Understanding ‘mastery’ is vital for any coach who wishes to become expert at what they do. We have the framework of competences that gives us powerful indicators of what top coaches do but they don’t capture the life and magic of the ‘master’ at work. Similarly, developing technical expertise is a vital part of becoming a top coach but the experts seem to have so much more.

In this session, Stephen draws on three sources to explore alternative ways of understanding and communicating mastery: established research on skill acquisition, the ‘parallel worlds’ of music and tennis, and his own research with top coaches. Stephen will share the three paths to mastery that emerge from this work and engage you in exploring the ‘signature’ of your own mastery. This will enable you to explore your own path to mastery and find fresh ways to communicate who you are as a coach.

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